Rules were made to be broken? Think again.

“Rules were made to be broken”. Not so fast. I suggest that rules were made to be questioned. It is not okay to break the rules  just because you don’t agree with the rules. Most rules are meant to help us. We must first understand why the rule exists before we consider breaking the rule.

Breaking the rules says that you know better than everyone else. Do you really know better? Don’t make up rules to satisfy what you want to do. People are watching you. Your example will be followed by others.

Traffic laws are not meant to be broken. They are meant for your safety. The United States traffic signs are probably some of the best in the world. They are meant to be universally understood even if you can’t read. When I was recently in Brazil (although a really awesome country to visit and wonderful people), their traffic signs are not universally understood or intuitive (unless you are from that country). In many placed traffic signs don’t exist. You  just have to know how to drive in those areas. I fortunately had a driver so I didn’t have to know how to read traffic signs. I have come to appreciate how effective traffic signs are in the United States.

Natural rules can give you automatic consequences. If you eat healthy food and exercise regularly, your body will be physically fit. I know this rule isn’t the same for everyone. We all know that person that can eat anything they want and not exercise but still look amazing. In reality they probably don’t have as much energy, or get sick more often. Everyone still needs to eat good foods and exercise their body.

It is okay to question and challenge rules. However for the most part you should follow rules until you understand why or a better way is determined.

Do you follow the rules? What is another example of a rule that you shouldn’t break?

6 comments to Rules were made to be broken? Think again.

  • I like this because its simple and its hard to understand. I’ve grown up being a rebel and an outsider. At certain points in my life I was so disgusted with the hypocrisy and lies that I fooled myself into believing that I had to personally advance the truth no matter what(What? A crusade). After a great deal of reading and thinking I’ve changed my mind. It’s still important to stand for truth and avoid various cultural pitfalls but now I try to see things as a “Spiritual Adult.” What’s the difference? Before it was a meaning unto itself being a type of crusader, now it’s the idea that others are doing the best they can also and truth is not exclusive. The rules are good, they were frequently made with good intentions and they can be changed also. Meaningful life might entail us questioning things and examining things but Structure and Order and Method are very good also. Thanks.

  • chunter

    Paraphrasing something I heard in the 90s, about political processes: In the US, people don’t like national speed limit, and we respond by disobeying it either at will or when the police aren’t around. In Germany, if people disliked the speed limit on the Autobahn, for example, a new political party would be formed and would oust the old regime simply on the basis of being the “higher speed limits” party.

    Only slightly related to the subject, but it is telling of how different cultures choose their civil disobedience.

    Normally, when I think about “breaking rules,” I am usually concerned with the blending and stretching of genres of music, where similarly, the “rules” are there for a reason, but are mere abstractions that can be disobeyed when the reason behind the rules is understood.

  • I agree that there are some rules mean to be followed, but in general I find that rules are meant to control behaviors of what others think I should be doing. And those rules will change as the wind blows, from new laws to new bosses to new employers. And for that, I do it if I believe it’s right, not because I was told it was right.

    And I bet that doesn’t come as a surprise to you either :)

    Here’s a post I recently wrote about that too –
    http://dogear6.com/2011/06/29/culture-norms/

    Nancy
    http://www.dogear6.com

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